Amazon region: Brazil records sharp increase in fires

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Reuters

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Satellite images show that there were 6,803 fires in the Amazon in July


Official figures from Brazil showed a sharp increase in the number of fires in the Amazon region in July compared to the same month last year.

Satellite images compiled by Brazil’s National Space Agency revealed that there were 6,803, an increase of 28 percent.

President Jair Bolsonaro encouraged agricultural and mining activities in the Amazon.

But under pressure from international investors in early July, his government banned fires in the region.

  • Fires in the world’s largest tropical wetlands ‘triple’ in 2020

The latest figures raise concerns over the repeat of the massive forest fires that shocked the world in August and September of last year.

“It’s a terrible sign,” said Ane Alencar, scientific director of the Brazilian Institute for Environmental Research at Amazon, quoted by the Reuters news agency.

“We can expect August to be already a difficult month and September to be even worse. “

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Media caption“It’s extremely upsetting… to see this kind of devastation” – The BBC’s Will Grant flew over the northern state of Rondonia

Mr Bolsonaro has criticized Brazil’s environmental law enforcement agency, Ibama, for what he describes as excessive fines, and his first year in office has seen a sharp drop in financial penalties imposed for environmental violations. The agency remains underfunded and understaffed.

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